Civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) Actions

Every RICO claim must be based upon a pattern of related and continuous criminal activity, which can include racketeering, bribery, kickbacks, extortion, obstruction of justice, and clearly criminal schemes that are advanced by the use of the mails and wires, that causes a person financial injury.  Federal law codifies the RICO statute at 18 U.S.C. § 1961-1968

Conceptually, the best way to think of a RICO claim is to think of it in terms of whether a certain person is the putative “Godfather” of an organization acting as a “puppet master” of distinct individuals who are committing crimes that result in financial injury to the plaintiff.

A successful plaintiff can recover his damages, including property taken by the defendant, as well as treble damages.

Minnesota has a RICO statute that acts like a complement to the federal RICO statute, but individual cannot bring actions under this law (only Minnesota governmental entities may bring suit).  Minn. Stat. § 609.901.  However, a Minnesota resident can start an action under the Federal RICO act.